Alpine vs. Sony [Head Units Compared]

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After spending countless hours researching these head units side-by-side, I decided to do a detailed comparison of Alpine and Sony head units.

Here’s what I found out: I personally prefer the Alpine head units for their superior features. The Alpine models offer a wide range of features, such as a larger display, and more inputs, and outputs, and are also compatible with various audio formats.

Sony XAV-AX1000 vs. Alpine iLX-W650

Sony XAV-AX1000 vs Alpine iLX-W650E
Sony XAV-AX1000 vs Alpine iLX-W650


The Alpine iLX-W650 comes with a wide range of features that make it ideal for anyone who wants to get the most out of their car audio setup. The system comes with advanced functions like Apple CarPlay compatibility, Android Auto integration, and powerful sound equalization tools.

I found the two camera inputs particularly useful, as they allow me to connect the rear and front cameras for added convenience. The microphone worked excellently in my tests, allowing me to easily make calls and use voice commands. The sound quality (even without a built-in amplifier) was very good, with a great balance between lows and highs.

The lack of an AUX input can be a bit of a letdown, but for me, it didn’t detract from the overall experience.

The Sony model offers many of the same features but doesn’t match the power and versatility offered by the Alpine’s feature set. The Sony does have some neat tricks, such as a built-in amplifier and a 10-band graphic equalizer, but I felt that these features were more of a nice-to-have than an essential part of the experience.

Since I am an Android user, the lack of Android Auto integration was a complete deal breaker for me. Plus, you only get one camera input, and while this is better than nothing, it’s still a far cry from what Alpine offers.


For me, the Alpine iLX-W650 is the clear winner when comparing these two head units. It offers a comprehensive set of features and great sound quality, making it an excellent upgrade for anyone looking to get the most out of their car audio setup.

Design and Usability

The Alpine head unit has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate. It works with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so no matter which phone you have, you can easily connect your device and take advantage of the features offered. The 7-inch capacitive touchscreen is responsive and provides vivid colors as well as clear visuals.

The Sony XAV-AX1000 isn’t too shabby in terms of design either, but I found that its menus were a bit clunky to navigate compared to the Alpine model. It features a smaller 6.2-inch resistive touchscreen display that, while not terrible, isn’t quite as clear or sharp as its rival. The wireless remote makes things easier, but for me, it wasn’t enough to compete with the Alpine’s screen touch experience.


When it comes to design and usability, the Alpine iLX-W650 heads and shoulders above its Sony competition. Its intuitive interface makes it a joy to use, and its 7-inch capacitive touchscreen is one of the best in its class.


The Sony XAV-AX1000 retails for around $300, while the Alpine iLX-W650 costs around $350. That being said, you get what you pay for, and the Alpine’s extra features more than makeup for its slightly higher price tag.

Verdict: Although it is a bit more expensive, I think that the extra cost of the Alpine iLX-W650 is well worth it thanks to its comprehensive set of features and great design.

Sony XAV-AX5000 vs Alpine iLX-W650


Regarding features, the Sony XAV-AX5000 and the Alpine iLX-W650 are both top contenders in the head unit market. Both models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities for easy smartphone integration; on both units, you can access Google Maps and your favorite music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music.

The XAV-AX5000 has a few more features than its Alpine counterpart, such as an extra USB port and a radio data system (RDS) tuner. The AX5000 also includes some additional audio enhancements, such as 10 EQ bands and subwoofer controls.

You can expect a clearer sound when listening to music through the Alpine iLX-W650 compared to other head units due to its 6-channel preamp outputs. I was also impressed by its sound processing capabilities, which allowed for a more balanced experience with plenty of detail.


Both the Sony XAV-AX5000 and the Alpine iLX-W650 are excellent head units with plenty of features to offer. The iLX-W650 has a bit more of an edge when it comes to audio enhancements, so if you’re looking for something for your car audio setup, this might be the better option.

Design and Usability

The Sony XAV-AX5000 has a 6.95-inch touchscreen display, while the Alpine iLX-W650 comes with a 7-inch display. Both are easy to navigate and respond quickly to touch inputs. The AX5000 also has physical buttons for quick access to common functions like volume control and source selection.

The iLX-W650 has an edge when it comes to usability, as its optional rear camera provides an extra layer of convenience when parking in tight spaces. The camera can be connected directly to the head unit with just one simple connection, making installation incredibly easy.


While both units have great designs and are very user-friendly, the iLX-W650 edges out the XAV-AX5000 when it comes to usability due to its optional rear camera.


The Sony XAV-AX5000 is priced at around $400, while the Alpine iLX-W650 retails for around $350. Both units offer great value for the money, but the iLX-W650 provides a bit more bang for your buck due to its rear camera and 6-channel preamp output.


The Alpine iLX-W650 is a great option if you’re on a tighter budget, as it offers some good features and performance but comes in at a lower price than the XAV-AX5000.

Sony XAV-AX8000 vs. Alpine Halo9 iLX-F259


I recently upgraded my car audio setup with the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F259, and I must say that I am very impressed with it. The unit has a 9″ capacitive touchscreen display, which makes navigating its menus a breeze. It also comes with plenty of features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, as well as an optional rear camera for easy parking.

The sound quality is great, and the built-in amplifier adds power to your music while maintaining clarity. I was also pleased to find out that the unit supports 4V preamp outputs for a nice boost in sound quality.

The Sony XAV-AX8000 is also a great head unit and offers many of the same features as the iLX-F259. It has an 8.95-inch touchscreen display and also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration for easy smartphone access. The 20 watts RMS output is also plenty of power to keep your music sounding great.


Both the Sony XAV-AX8000 and the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F259 are excellent head units with plenty of features to offer. I personally prefer the larger display and flexibility of the iLX-F259, but if you’re looking for something that has a bit more power then the XAV-AX8000 might be the better option. But we call this comparison a tie.

Design and Usability

The Sony XAV-AX8000 has a sleek design with an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to navigate menus and access features quickly. It also has physical knobs for volume and source selection, which is nice if you prefer a tactile experience.

The Alpine iLX-F259 also has a great design and an intuitive user interface, but it does have fewer physical buttons than the AX8000. That said, its optional rear camera makes parking much easier, and it supports 4V preamp outputs for better sound quality.


Both head units have great designs and are very easy to use. The larger display size and secondary camera input of the iLX-F259 give it an edge over the XAV-AX8000 in terms of usability, but it’s ultimately up to personal preference as both units offer excellent features and value.


Both head units come with a hefty price tag. The Sony XAV-AX8000 retails for around $550-$650, while the Alpine iLX-F259 can be found in the $750 to $950 range.


Price-wise, the XAV-AX8000 offers slightly better value for money than the iLX-F259 due to its lower price point and comparable features. However, you may want to consider the extra cost of the iLX-F259 if you’re looking for a larger display size or an optional rear camera input.


Is Alpine better than Sony in terms of product quality?

It’s difficult to definitively say that one brand is better than the other when it comes to product quality, as both Alpine and Sony offer excellent features and value. Based on my experience, I would prefer the Alpine offer due to its advanced features and better user experience. That said, it’s ultimately up to you to decide which one is best suited for your needs.

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